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US-China Relations

Beijing’s Representative in Hong Kong Called U.S. Lawmakers “The Black Hand behind the Extreme Violent Elements”

The Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is an office under the PRC’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is in charge of foreign affairs related to Hong Kong. Recently it released a list of statements regarding U.S. politicians and media on Hong Kong.

“On August 17, in response to the erroneous statements made by Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Pelosi, Senators McConnell, Rubio, and Representative Yoho, the National People’s Congress Foreign Affairs Committee spokesman Yu Wenze said that . . .  some Members of the U.S. Congress glamorize violent crimes and call them the fight for human rights and freedom; they distort the Hong Kong police efforts to enforce the law, crack down on crime, and maintain the social order by calling their acts violent suppression, and they threaten to push for a so-called ‘Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.’ The move is a serious violation of the rule of law, an out-and-out double standard, and a gross interference in China’s internal affairs.”

“On August 15, 2019, the Wall Street Journal published an editorial, ‘The Hong Kong Stakes for Trump.’ The article ignored the facts and turned black into white. It acted despotic about the situation in Hong Kong and made willful comments. The spokesman of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong was the first to raise the issue and express strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition. The spokesperson pointed out that the article, making a series of irresponsible remarks about the situation in Hong Kong, is full of ignorance, prejudice, and arrogance.”

On August 15, the Office of the Commissioner released a statement titled, “The Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong exposed that the U.S. politicians and the extremist violent criminals ganged up and acted in collusion.” The release stated, “In response to the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Pelosi and other politicians’ extremely erroneous remarks about the current situation in Hong Kong, the spokesperson of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong said some U.S. politicians are nearly paranoid in reversing black and white, and are addicted to double standards. They colluded with extremist violent criminals and engaged in anti-China sinful business that will bring disasters to Hong Kong.”

On August 14, the Office issued another statement in response to Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Pelosi and Senator Rubio. “In response to Media reports that Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Pelosi and Senator Rubio issued wrong arguments such as ‘The escalating violence and use of force perpetrated against the Hong Kong protestors is extremely alarming,’  ‘The Chief Executive and Legislative Council must withdraw the extradition bill and end police violence,’ the spokesperson of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong said that some U.S. lawmakers confused right and wrong, reversed black and white, and incited violent crimes. They used their words and deeds to show that they are the black hands behind the extreme violent elements.”

Source: Website of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong

The U.S. Expanded Scope of Reviews to Include U.S. Students in China

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that, after they returned home, the FBI contacted some U.S. students who had graduated from China’s Yenching Academy at Beijing University. The Yenching Academy is an institute mainly for foreign students and around one third are from the United States and Canada. In the past two years, U.S. law enforcement agencies investigated five of the students, asking about their experience with Yenching Academy. Two students from West Point were not allowed to attend Yenching, although Yenching had accepted them. The FBI may be concerned about these scholars receiving Chinese financial sponsorship as they may be asked to help steal U.S. intellectual properties. The previous U.S. administration supported Yenching Academy and Tsinghua University’s Schwarzman Scholars program. Heather K. Gerken, Dean of the Yale Law School, expressed her serious concern about the FBI’s reviews and activities.

Source: Sina, August 9, 2019

Huanqiu Editorial: U.S. Slams Hong Kong Media

An official editorial from a China State media, Huanqiu (Global Times), attempted to rebut a statement that the U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus made on August 8. Ortagus described China as a “thuggish regime” because it disclosed personal details about a U.S. diplomat who met student leaders involved in the Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement. Earlier, a China-controlled media, the Hong Kong newspaper Ta Kung Pao, published a photograph of a U.S. diplomat, identified as Julie Eadeh of the consulate’s political section, talking to student leaders, including Joshua Wong, in the lobby of a luxury hotel. It also published personal details about her family members.

“However,” said Huanqiu , “the U.S. State Department slammed the Hong Kong media on Thursday, and described the report exposing U.S. diplomat Ms. Eadeh’s past experience in instigating a ‘color revolution’ as ‘disclosing the personal information of U.S. diplomats.’ It attributed the media report to the [Chinese] government, and said that is what a thuggish regime would do.”

Huanqiu continued, “The Hong Kong media have the right to expose the situation of U.S. diplomats who are actively intervening in Hong Kong and to let people know what kind of people they are in order to form a more comprehensive understanding of the situation in Hong Kong. This is the duty of the media and the [Chinese] government has nothing to do with it.”

It concluded, “All this that the internal and external forces created is nothing but a phantom. With the strong support of the [Chinese Communist Party] Central Committee, the vast Hong Kong people who are patriotic and love Hong Kong will have the courage to stand up. The conspiracy will be shattered and the turmoil will be crushed. The time will come when the mob will be brought to justice.”

Source: Huanqiu, August 9, 2019

The Paper: The Renminbi Becomes Independent

On August 5, for the first time since 2008, the exchange rate between the Chinese Yuan and the U.S. dollar surpassed 7:1. The Paper published a commentary analyzing the meaning.

“It reflects a big change in China’s currency policy. It will no longer attempt to keep the exchange rate below 7. From the short-term perspective, under the pressure of Trump’s new tariff on over $300 billion of Chinese goods and the downward pressure on China’s economy this year, devaluing the Renminbi will help the economy.”

“A deeper meaning of the exchange rate’s breaking the 7 limit is that the Renminbi has become more independent. The U.S. dollar index went down in the past three days. The Renminbi went lower against the U.S. dollar but higher against other currency (had the Renminbi followed the U.S. dollar, it would have gone lower against other currency since the U.S. dollar went lower against them).”

“Putting the information together, it showed that the Renminbi has started to cut its tie to U.S. dollar and has started to be independent. This will weaken the dollar’s global position in the long run. After breaking away from the U.S. dollar, the Renminbi will gradually obtain a stronger position in the world. Finally, China made this step (to make Renminbi independent from the U.S. dollar). It is a bit too late to do so, but it is still better than not to make this move at all.”

The author predicted that the Renminbi will continue going down.

Source: The Paper, August 5, 2019

Reference News: U.S. Predicament Similar to That before the Fall of the Soviet Union

Reference News, a well-known branch of Xinhua, recently reported, based on some Russian sources, that there was a similarity between the current U.S. political situation and the period before the Soviet Union dissolved. The report said that President Trump’s “political incorrectness” and “arrogant impulses” have accelerated the loss of the United States’ “soft power.”  Many U.S. traditional allies who used to follow the U.S. lead blindly have started to “hold their breath” and have doubts. The U.S. political landscape is heavily divided and the U.S. society is losing its traditional values on family and religion. Although the U.S. is still a very powerful nation, yet fewer and fewer of the U.S. population feel proud of being an American. Only 30 percent of the people surveyed outside the United States had a positive view of the Trump-led United States. Even if a Democratic president is elected in the next election, the fall of the U.S. global influence may continue. The loss of American values may lead to the fall of the empire, just like (what happened to) the Soviet empire. Reference News is one of the only two newspapers in China that can directly publish original foreign news reports legally. It is currently the largest daily newspaper in China.

Source: Reference News, August 1, 2019

VOA Chinese: China Lost Nearly Two Million Jobs in the Trade War

Voice of America (VOA) Chinese edition recently published an article stating that, according to a report that a large Chinese investment bank CICC (China International Capital Corporation) just released, China’s manufacturing industry has lost around five million jobs. Among the jobs lost thus far, the trade war was responsible for the loss of about 1.8 million to 1.9 million of them. The CICC economists pointed out that the five million positions reflect roughly 3.4 percent of the total number of manufacturing jobs. The report also indicated that, in addition to the trade war, the domestic economic structural adjustments as well as seasonal factors have also heavily impacted the manufacturing job market. However, the data used for the CICC report were collected before May. It therefore did not reflect the effect of the 10 percent to 25 percent U.S. tariff increase on the US$200 billion Chinese exports to the U.S. All experts expected a much larger scale for job loss once the tariff increase was factored in. In the meantime, China’s second quarter GDP increase slowed down to 6.2 percent, which was the slowest pace of growth since 1992.

Source: VOA Chinese, July 25, 2019